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Greek bulker destroys rail bridge in Panama Canal collision

The 37,322-dwt bulker Bluebill was northbound transiting in ballast condition when it suffered a collision with the Gamboa Bridge, located on the east side of the Gaillard Cut at the Chagres River.

The Panama Canal Authorities said that the incident did not impact the transit of other vessels scheduled for transit on Tuesday or the following Wednesday.

The Panama Canal Authority announced in a short press release that they will be conducting an Official Hearing with all the parties concerned to determine the nature and cause of the incident.

The Gamboa Bridge, crossing the Chagres Rivers, serves as a vital section of the Panama Canal Railway Company which is used for transport of containers transhipped between the Pacific and Atlantic terminals.

The damage suffered to Gamboa Bridge led the Panama Canal Railway to temporarily suspend trans-isthmian operations. Container lines are adopting immediate countermeasures to conduct inter-terminal moves via vessel and/or truck/drayage. The repairs are expected to take approximately 15 days.

 An investigation has begun after the Greek Bluebill handysize vessel hit the railway bridge.  No cause has yet been given for the incident involving the 37,322-dwt Bluebill in the Chagres river. 


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